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Part II. Lapland. Fish Monster

Also known as ‘actions have consequences’.

The first morning on the island, we woke up and went through the basics.

Morning ablutions… IMG_7774 (Copy) IMG_7775 (Copy)

…eating a breakfast that can only be described as ‘gourmet’…IMG_7772 (Copy)

… and hopping into our boats…IMG_7778 (Copy) IMG_7779 (Copy) IMG_7780 (Copy)

That’s right guys! Day 2 was ‘Boating and Fishing Day’.

Andy and I hopped aboard with Dicky, Sarah, Marcus, and a huge bag of fried corn.

There was a bit of wind, a little bit of current (only when heading down the narrow river of one part of the lake), and our boat, while sturdy, was sometimes a little tricky to steer.

Still, it was very pleasant out there on the ‘open water’.

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We spotted some fellow fishermen-and-women far off in the distance, and docked besides them in the hopes of swapping our ‘fried corn as bait strategy’, for using actual fishing lures.IMG_7790 (Copy) IMG_7791 (Copy) IMG_7792 (Copy) IMG_7794 (Copy) IMG_7795 (Copy) IMG_7797 (Copy) IMG_7799 (Copy) IMG_7801 (Copy) IMG_7802 (Copy) IMG_7803 (Copy) Outdoors Dicky!IMG_7804 (Copy)  IMG_7806 (Copy)Within a couple of minutes of casting off with the new lures, Outdoor Dicky’s hunter instincts kicked in…IMG_7809 (Copy)

… and it was immediately obvious to us all that he (Outdoor Dicky) was not the kind of man who caught ordinary sized fish.

Oh no, on the end of his line, Outdoor Dicky had one of the largest Fish Monsters the world has ever seen*!

*a.k.a a medium sized pike. Seriously though, google image ‘pike’. Those things can be MASSIVE.IMG_7810 (Copy) IMG_7811 (Copy)IMG_7812 (Copy)This photo makes me think that maybe Marcus didn’t have faith in Outdoors Dick’s abilities to haul in his Fish Monster.

Oh Marcus!IMG_7813 (Copy)  IMG_7817 (Copy)IMG_7818 (Copy) IMG_7819 (Copy) IMG_7820 (Copy) IMG_7821 (Copy) IMG_7822 (Copy) IMG_7824 (Copy) IMG_7826 (Copy)

The monster was (rightfully) angry, and full of teeth. Simon was left with the job of quickly putting the fish out of its misery so that it wouldn’t die slowly.IMG_7828 (Copy)Did I mention that I had a friend who once stopped eating all meat, except for the animals that he thought he could kill?

In his life up until that point he’d never even been fishing. He decided that he could eat fish, and chicken, but not the larger animals. A short time after the decision, he went out and caught his first fish.

I don’t actually know how it went down with the chicken.

Or whether or not he’s still doing the semi-meat eater thing. But I respect his idea of removing the mental separation that we have between killing animals and eating meat.

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Hey look guys! Simon caught a perch!IMG_7839 (Copy) IMG_7840 (Copy) IMG_7841 (Copy)

We spent a bit more or the day floating around the lake, before heading back to clean our fishies.

Which, disclaimer, this following segments ‘acknowledges the existence of fishy bits’ (try to imagine that in Ira Glass’ voice). And by ‘acknowledges the existence’, I mean ‘contains many photos of us cutting up fish and hacking and ripping their scales and skin off.

But you’re a grown up, and you probably eat fish, so you can probably deal with this, right?

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I rather like the look of mild disgust on Richard’s face. It may have been at this point that he started muttering ‘actions have consequences, actions have consequences’

To be perfectly honest, I enjoyed the scaling, cleaning and gutting process very much. I’m sure it would grow old very very fast, but as an occasional thing, it was disgustingly amazing and really quite fun.

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Tegan has a Knife. Scales Fly. Tegan has scales in her hair.

Obviously, at this point, Andy took over with the documentation of the ‘Event’ because I was covered in fish.

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Perch success! Scaled, gutted, washed. Ready for the fire.IMG_7892 (Copy)

The pike was a bit tricker.

‘Actions have consequences, actions have consequences.’IMG_7899 (Copy) IMG_7903 (Copy)

Ok, this I found completely amazing….IMG_7913 (Copy) IMG_7928 (Copy)

A (slightly digested) fish in a fish! Isn’t the world fascinating?!

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The innards were pretty well sealed up with eachother, and could be torn out. It’s pretty interesting how quickly our Fish Monster went from looking like a fish to a food once his insides were out.IMG_7943 (Copy) IMG_7952 (Copy) IMG_7955 (Copy)

Pike have a kind of leathery skin, which we were told could be simply ripped off. To be honest, it took a bit more effort than that, especially at the beginning when lots of gripping was required. But with a bit of teamwork, Sar and I managed.IMG_7956 (Copy)  IMG_7960 (Copy) IMG_7963 (Copy) IMG_7974 (Copy)

^I think this photo fairly accurately depicts how much we all enjoyed the task. Tegan and Sarah (and I just noticed that)= very/too much. Dicky= maybe not so much.

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We sent the pike skin back to be eaten by more pike, and then it was pretty much time to put everything on the fire.IMG_7981 (Copy)  IMG_7988 (Copy)  IMG_7990 (Copy) IMG_7993 (Copy) IMG_7994 (Copy) IMG_7995 (Copy) IMG_7996 (Copy) IMG_7998 (Copy) IMG_7999 (Copy) IMG_8000 (Copy) IMG_8001 (Copy)

Sonny had mentioned to us that people generally like perch a lot more than pike. We all pretty much disagreed: the perch hardly had any taste, while the giant Fish Monster at least had a bit of a fishy aroma.

Still, we could see his point. Perch is probably good for a meal or too, but if fish is your primary food source all winter long, I imagine you start wanting something as neutral as possible pretty quickly.

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Anyway, we sat in the golden sunlight, ate fish and a whole lot of other food besides, and drank wine and fancy beers.IMG_8005 (Copy) IMG_8006 (Copy) IMG_8007 (Copy) IMG_8004 (Copy)

Did I mention that that evening, the lake decided to look like glass?

More on that later.



  1. Pingback: Part III. Stockholm. A very short stay. – Fish with Whiskey

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